Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson and TD for Cork South Central Michael McGrath has called on the Transport & Tourism Minister to ensure that all efforts are made to accommodate cruise ships at the Port of Cork facilities in Cobh while construction work is carried out at Dublin Port.

He made the call following the announcement by Dublin Port that it is to limit cruise berths after 2021 to allow for construction work.

Deputy McGrath said, “The number of cruise liners coming into Cobh over the past number of years has increased significantly, providing a major financial boost to the local and regional economy in Cork and beyond. The decision by Dublin Port to reduce the number of cruise liner berths is deeply worrying and will almost certainly have a negative impact on the number of cruise liners visiting Cobh.

“I have called on the Minister for Transport & Tourism Minister Shane Ross to ensure that other ports will be in a position to absorb the overflow from Dublin so that Ireland, as a whole, does not lose out in terms of the lucrative cruise liner market. The obvious worry is that cruise liner companies will decide not to visit Ireland at all if the option of visiting the capital city is gone.

“Cork, and the wider South West region, has seen a marked increase in business since Cobh began catering for cruise ships. This year alone will see 103 cruise liners dock at the port. This is good news for shops, restaurants, pubs and tourist attractions across the county and every move to protect this industry must be made.

“Minister Ross must engage with the necessary authorities and Fáilte Ireland to ensure that Cork does not suffer as a result of the announcement by Dublin Port, but rather be in a position to provide an alternative to the cruise liner companies”, concluded Deputy McGrath.